What Are the Main Sources Used to Generate Energy in the Caribbean?

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Natural gas, oil and diesel are the most popularly used energy products in the Caribbean. The Caribbean nations are using some eco-friendly renewable options such as the sun, water and the wind. The degrees of development in energy generation widely vary according to each Caribbean nation, however Caribbean governments are beginning to seek out cost-effective means to expand on its dynamic capacities.

Natural Gas and Petroleum

  • Natural gas is a major source of energy and Trinidad and Tobago has exploited its reserves of natural gas, fueling and empowering power plants. Along with Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Cuba have also abundant resources in natural gas. In 2006, the "Oil and Gas Journal" published that these three Caribbean countries have unearthed more than 1.85 billion barrels of crude oil and 29.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Diesel, a product of petroleum, is the major supplier of electricity for many rural regions in the Caribbean islands. Diesel poses a possible threat to the ecosystem since spills (on land and seas) occur. Also a considerable number of vehicles run on diesel. The high cost of diesel with its high toxicity has necessitated a change to renewable resources.

Wind Energy

  • Wind turbines generate electric energy in the Caribbean nations of Cuba, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and Curacao. Guyana, ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Cuba), Dominican Republic, and Jamaica use wind-powered water pumps. The Caribbean has not even tapped into all of its air energy but the wind potential is promising, seeing that the high-speed gusts and frequent breezes produce windfalls of 3187 GWh (Gigawatt hours) every year.

Water

  • Water is another essential resource in energy production in the Caribbean. Frequent and heavy rainfalls also help produce hydroelectric power. Caribbean countries such as Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Cuba, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominican Republic and Haiti harness water through the operation of hydraulic plants.

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  • Photo Credit solar energy image by Catabu from Fotolia.com
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